Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I am not going to the gym on Christmas day or Christmas Eve or the day before Christmas Eve and probably not on the day after Christmas, either. Ha!

I am talking to various people I know about triathlons, though, people who have competed in them before in the past. I suppose I'm looking for a general consensus as to whether or not they are fun or just a goal that you suffer through and once done, never want to do again. This is probably the wrong way to look at it, but that's how I'm currently viewing it. I guess it's because I look at marathons that way. So many people just want to do one to say they did it and I'm like, "I had 2 knee surgeries. Why don't you have a knee surgery just to say you did it?" And yes, this is totally the wrong attitude.

I'm pretty sure if triathlons involved leaping through fire, like the Warrior Dash did, and climbing obstacles and steep hills and swimming far out to grab some brass ring and mountain biking through a motorcross trail instead of racing street bicycles and all that then I would look at it as a challenge that I really thought was worthwhile. And mostly this would be because to me that sort of race sounds like fun.

I know I'll never set a new Personal Record in any race, whether running or cycling or swimming ... Well, that's not entirely true. I've never competed in a bicycle race or swim meet, so any time I set is my new PR. Still, I'll always know that whatever time that is won't be as good or as fast as I could've done back when I was young and skinny and strong like some teenaged vampire.

I guess I'm being a jerk about it, but I want a race as long as a triathlon to entertain me. I saw a film of an Australian triathlon where the entire group of participants ended up swimming through a nasty group of blue bottles, a horrible jellyfish that can send you screaming to the hospital. Not that I'm wishing for something like that, but certainly all those racers will say "that's a race I'll never forget." I'm looking for something novel and unique. You'd think that an ordinary triathlon would already do that for me as I've never competed in one before. But somehow, no.

One good thing is that I've only recently learned that there are different types of triathlons, different distances that you have to complete depending on which type of triathlon it is. Naturally I'm inclined to feel drawn towards the shortest ones, or 'Sprint Distance' triathlons, which involve a 750 meter swim, 20 km bike, and 5 km run. Hell, I could complete one of these with minimal training even now.

After the 'Sprint Distance' triathlon, there is the 'Standard Distance' or 'Olympic Distance' triathlon, which is a 1.5 km swim, 40 km ride, and a 10 km run. I think with this the only thing I'd be worried about is the 1.5 km swim. I haven't trained for swimming in a very long time. I have no idea how I'd do in that part of the race, but if it were in choppy waters or there were any sort of undertow I think I'd most likely drown. So, before I try anything like this I believe I'd better make some time to get into the pool and do some laps. A lot of laps, actually. I might even want to hire a coach to watch me do those laps and tell me how awful my form is before helping me correct it in order to maximize my efficiency and speed and minimize my chances of dying.

Dying in a triathlon means you don't get to finish. Actually, this is true of most races.

After the 'Standard Distance' triathlon, there is the 'Long Course' or 'Half Ironman.' Yes, only a HALF Ironman, which involves a 1.9 km swim, 90 km ride, and a 21.1 km run. If I do somehow 'get into' this whole triathlon thing, I suspect this will be the longest race I ever do. And afterwards I'd be bitching about it for months. So fair warning.

Finally, there is the real deal, the 'men from the boys', the 'Ultra Distance', the 'Ironman' itself, which involves a 3.8 km swim, 180 km ride, and a marathon: 42.2 km run. Yeah, fat chance of me attempting one of these. I don't like running that far and I'd be the most surprised person in the room if I ever managed to swim that distance. As for the biking part, I think I'd have me a big fat spring-loaded comfy seat and a whole lot of gears. My bike would look nothing like everyone else's racer. I'd look more like Mary Poppins out of a long ride and a picnic with all the water bottles and accessories I'd be sporting on that thing, especially after that long swim. Hell, I might even try to slip a moped in there and see if anyone noticed.

So, this was supposed to be about Christmas, the day of Christ's birth, except it isn't the day of Christ's birth because at some point they say the Catholic Church moved it for various reasons and that Jesus was actually born in April or thereabouts. I don't know all the details. I don't know if God gets upset about it or just wants us to recognize without getting uptight about the exact date. But I know that Christmas is important. Wikipedia seems to indicate that December 25th actually could be the correct day. But then how much faith do you place in something like Wikipedia? In years past I've made edits to various incorrect Wikipedia entries, only to have all my edits be disallowed. Apparently political correctness is the goal there rather than factual accuracy. So the amount of faith I place in Wikipedia is inversely proportional to the extent to which I believe it adheres to a PC dogma.

Having said all this, I want to finally just say, MERRY CHRISTMAS and I hope you all have a Happy New Year!


  1. Yes, Mboy's church disputes the 25th as Christs birthday. And they also dispute the Easter date, too. Not sure how/why. couldn't really care less either.... seems most religions change the story to suit their own needs.

    Anyhoo. Wishing you an awesome Christmas and New years!

    Seeya in 2012!

  2. I wouldn't even willingly do a short triathlon! You've got some amazing drive to want to do one, let alone one that could have some crazy story like a jelly fish attack! From what I know, the date of Christmas was chosen on the same date as the big pagan festival on the winter solstice. It was the church's way of trying to get everyone to celebrate their holiday and not the pagans. This is also the reason for the date of Easter too, just raining on the pagan's parade...I may be a Christian but that doesn't mean I can't sympathize! ;)
    Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Ute, there are some people who just want to argue about everything, even churches that do that. I personally doubt that God expects us to know the exact date that it happened. The important thing is to know why it matters, really. Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Years, too! And then Happy Australia Day after that!

    ScarletBlue, and Happy New Year!

    PaddedCellPrincess, I have so many friends now who have done them or are currently doing them and I suddenly feel the urge to try one, unlike marathons, which no amount of friends doing them is likely to inspire me to try. As for Christmas, I've heard endless stories about why the date is a scandal or not a scandal. I take it as one of those "everybody knows" things which almost always turn out to be not true. And even if it is true, I don't think God minds. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  4. Belated Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you Mr Epic!

    Hope you find the challenge you are looking for in 2012......look after you kneeses & no drowing please!!!


  5. AlleyCat, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too! I will try to take good care of my knees while attempting to prepare myself for a triathlon as best as I can. Mostly they are good to me, but some days they whine a lot. Drowning is another issue entirely. I have a rather strong aversion to drowning.